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Topic # 123400 5-Jul-2013 22:25
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Is it common practice for photographers to retain copyright on wedding photos, even though you have paid them huge fees for the service?

I assumed that since I have employed the photographer, all the photos belong to me, but I have a contract (not yet signed) which states that the photographer retains all copyrights and the client merely has rights to print the photos.

Can anyone tell me if this is common practice in the photography industry? Or is this one person just taking the mickey?

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  Reply # 849952 5-Jul-2013 22:31
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yes, that is normal

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  Reply # 849953 5-Jul-2013 22:31
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That is what we had for our photos, ours gave us a DVD with all the photos in Hi Res + another DVD with 50 or so photos they had touched up with Photoshop.
Apparently as the artist / creator they retain the copyright.





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  Reply # 849956 5-Jul-2013 22:37
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Yes, that is the norm and always has been.

We were very lucky as our photographer was retiring about the time we had ours taken and so he agreed to give us all our negatives, without anything extra being paid!

I do think that the fees charged by most of these guys is completely over the top, especially when they also usually make a lot off the printed photos also!

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  Reply # 849966 5-Jul-2013 23:27
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It's really up to you. You tell them what you want, and if they are not happy, go elsewhere. You are the customer.




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  Reply # 849969 6-Jul-2013 00:30
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My brother was caught out by this, even though I had warned them first. If they wanted the photos on the DVD afterwards, but were told it would be about $1200, as they had to be formatted for dvd. This was after the fee that the photographer had charged thousands for the event. I wasn't that impressed by the photos either, as many focused on people with small depth of field, and were more arty. They ended up getting a selection of photos emailed to them for a few hundred, that they could print out themselves. I think photographers expect people to buy the prints through them, so if they give people the raw photos on cd, then they lose on this income.


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  Reply # 849974 6-Jul-2013 01:18
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Photographers dont make alot of money.
The average one would be lucky to get a job a week in most parts of NZ.
They need to buy expensive software (adobe $$$) and seem to think they need a top gaming level good computer. So there are huge costs involved.

So couple those huge costs with a lack of work and the fact they cant do it full time means they need to charge to pay for their hobby.




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  Reply # 849982 6-Jul-2013 03:24
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A family member got caught by this. A couple of months after their wedding they were surprised to see three of their photos, blown up to 1m x 1m, being used as part of a window display in an upmarket kitchen appliance shop. The photographer had found another source of revenue from the snaps.

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  Reply # 849987 6-Jul-2013 07:54
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eracode: A family member got caught by this. A couple of months after their wedding they were surprised to see three of their photos, blown up to 1m x 1m, being used as part of a window display in an upmarket kitchen appliance shop. The photographer had found another source of revenue from the snaps.

While they own the photos, they still need to ask permission to use your images elsewhere.
There are a few photographers out there that are happy to take whatever pictures you want and give you a disc of all the touched up files afterwards. You pay for the service, you get the photos but you then have to do all the organising to print and compile and album.

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  Reply # 849988 6-Jul-2013 08:22
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This is normal. It's so we can make display albums and use them in competitions, though a few may use them for other things that's very rare.

Note that retaining copyright is generally irrelevant to the customer. While I retain copyright I give customers high res images with a license to do anything other than make a profit from them, or allow anyone else to make a profit from them.

Photographers may seem expensive, but consider the $20K of equipment most have (multiple cameras, spares, many lenses, lighting, power, etc), the replacement equipment as stuff gets dropped or wears out, the maintenance, assistant cost, the two full days of processing for each wedding, vehicle, fast computer, expensive software, nice clothes that get destroyed quickly, etc, etc. take away gay, tax, some photographers charging $3000 May be losing money. Don't forget album costs, which at wholesale are very, very expensive for nice albums.

Don't go into photography if you want to make money.




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  Reply # 849989 6-Jul-2013 08:40
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We paid about 3K for photographers for our wedding (included album and enlargements galore). We were surprised when they supplied us with 5 DVD copies of ALL the full hi res photos they took and also PDF proofs of the final touched up layouts for printing of albums and enlargements.

Good service and value for money = result from shopping around.

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  Reply # 849994 6-Jul-2013 09:00
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$3k with album is quite cheap. Providing all the images is almost a disservice, culling and editing is a valuable service and a specialist skill.




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  Reply # 850007 6-Jul-2013 10:01
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Yes sadly photographers get to keep the copyright on any photo they take, yet another aspect of copyright that needs to be addressed/reformed/disposed of.





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  Reply # 850015 6-Jul-2013 10:32
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timmmay: $3k with album is quite cheap. Providing all the images is almost a disservice, culling and editing is a valuable service and a specialist skill.


Very happy with the result. Naturally we picked our own 200 for touchup and print and the 100 for the album.
We regularly look at the originals and provide to family members / get them printed off. 

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  Reply # 850016 6-Jul-2013 10:33
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Yes this is an interesting one. I am a freelance cameraman in the broadcast industry where everything I shoot on a daily rate belongs to the client (TVNZ, TV3 etc).

Not only do stills photographers charge way more that professional video operators, they also have arguably less gear. I know they say they will have a Canon 1D plus lenses, plus Adobe, but that stuff is quite inexpensive compared to a video guy.

We supply lighting, radio mikes, tripod camera etc plus download/ upload to the network server etc.

I have employed stills photographers in the past where I keep copyright of the material. I think its only fair, but hey we are in a negotition style world now.

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